Last Updated: February, 2017
The Indian auto industry is one of the largest in the world. The industry accounts for 7.1 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Two Wheelers segment with 81 per cent market share is the leader of the Indian Automobile market owing to a growing middle class and a young population. Moreover, the growing interest of the companies in exploring the rural markets further aided the growth of the sector. The overall Passenger Vehicle (PV) segment has 13 per cent market share.
India is also a prominent auto exporter and has strong export growth expectations for the near future. In April-March 2016, overall automobile exports grew by 1.91 per cent. PV, Commercial Vehicles (CV), and Two Wheelers (2W) registered a growth of 5.24 per cent, 16.97 per cent, and 0.97 per cent respectively in April-March 2016 over April-March 2015.* In addition, several initiatives by the Government of India and the major automobile players in the Indian market are expected to make India a leader in the 2W and Four Wheeler (4W) market in the world by 2020.
The sales of PVs, CVs and 2Ws grew by 9.17 per cent, 3.03 per cent and 8.29 per cent respectively, during the period April-January 2017.
In order to keep up with the growing demand, several auto makers have started investing heavily in various segments of the industry during the last few months. The industry has attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth US$ 15.79 billion during the period April 2000 to September 2016, according to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Some of the major investments and developments in the automobile sector in India are as follows:
- Electric car maker Tesla Inc. is likely to introduce its products in India sometime in the summer of 2017.
- South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp is close to finalising a site for its first factory in India, slated to attract US$1 billion (Rs 6,700 crore) of investment. It is deciding between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The target for operationalising the factory is the end of 2018 or early 2019.
- Several automobile manufacturers, from global majors such as Audi to Indian companies such as Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra, are exploring the possibilities of introducing driverless self-driven cars for India.
- BMW plans to manufacture a local version of below-500 CC motorcycle, the G310R, in TVS Motor’s Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu, for Indian markets.
- Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has inaugurated its 900th Honda Authorised Exclusive Dealership in India, thereby taking its total dealership network to 4,800 across the country and further plans to increase its network to 5,300 by end of 2016-17.
- Hero MotoCorp Ltd seeks to enhance its participation in the Indian electric vehicle (EV) space by pursuing its internal EV Programme in addition to investing Rs 205 crore (US$ 30.75 million) to acquire around 26-30 per cent stake in Bengaluru-based technology start-up Ather Energy Pvt Ltd.
- JustRide, a self-drive car rental firm, has raised US$ 3 million in a bridge round of funding led by a group of global investors and a trio of Y Combinator partners, which will be utilised to amplify JustRide’s car sharing platform JustConnect and Yabber, an internet of things (IoT) device for cars that is based on the company’s smart vehicle technology (SVT).
- Ford Motor Co. plans to invest Rs 1,300 crore (US$ 195 million) to build a global technology and business centre in Chennai, which will be designed as a hub for product development, mobility solutions and business services for India and other markets.
- Cummins has plans to make India an export hub for the world, by investing in top components and technologies in India.
- Suzuki Motor Corporation, the Japan-based automobile manufacturer, plans to invest Rs 2,600 crore (US$ 390 million) for setting up its second assembly plant in India and an engine and transmission unit in Mehsana, Gujarat.
- Mr Masayoshi Son, Chief Executive Officer, SoftBank Group, has stated that Ola Cabs may introduce a fleet of one million electric cars in partnership with an electric vehicle maker and the Government of India, which could help reduce pollution and thereby transform the electric mobility sector in the country.
- China’s biggest automobile manufacturer, SAIC Motor, plans to invest US$ 1 billion in India by 2018, and is exploring possibilities to set up manufacturing unit in one of three states – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd has started exports of made-in-India flagship bike Gixxer to its home country of Japan, which will be in addition to current exports to countries in Latin America and surrounding countries.
- General Motors plans to invest US$ 1 billion in India by 2020, mainly to increase the capacity at the Talegaon plant in Maharashtra from 130,000 units a year to 220,000 by 2025.
- FIAT Chrysler Automobiles has recently invested US$280 million in its Ranjangaon plant to locally manufacture Jeep Compass, its new compact SUV which will be launched in India in August 2017.
The Government of India encourages foreign investment in the automobile sector and allows 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route.
Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government of India are:
- The Government of India plans to introduce a new Green Urban Transport Scheme with a central assistance of about Rs 25,000 crore (US$ 3.75 billion), aimed at boosting the growth of urban transport along low carbon path for substantial reduction in pollution, and providing a framework for funding urban mobility projects at National, State and City level with minimum recourse to budgetary support by encouraging innovative financing of projects.
- Government of India aims to make automobiles manufacturing the main driver of ‘Make in India’ initiative, as it expects passenger vehicles market to triple to 9.4 million units by 2026, as highlighted in the Auto Mission Plan (AMP) 2016-26.
- The Government plans to promote eco-friendly cars in the country i.e. CNG based vehicle, hybrid vehicle, and electric vehicle and also made mandatory of 5 per cent ethanol blending in petrol.
- The government has formulated a Scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in India, under the National Electric Mobility Mission 2020 to encourage the progressive induction of reliable, affordable and efficient electric and hybrid vehicles in the country.
India’s automotive industry is one of the most competitive in the world. It does not cover 100 per cent of technology or components required to make a car but it is giving a good 97 per cent, as highlighted by Mr Vicent Cobee, Corporate Vice-President, Nissan Motor’s Datsun.
Leading auto maker Maruti Suzuki expects Indian passenger car market to reach four million units by 2020, up from 1.97 million units in 2014-15.
Mr Young Key Koo, Managing Director, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, has stated that India is a key market for the company, not only in terms of volumes but also as a hub of small products for exports to 92 countries.
Mr Joachim Drees, Global CEO, MAN Trucks & Bus AG, has stated that India has the potential to be among the top five markets, outside of Europe, by 2020 for the company, which is reflected in the appointment of its most experienced managers to India for increasing volumes and exports out of India.
The Indian automotive aftermarket is estimated to grow at around 10-15 per cent to reach US$ 16.5 billion by 2021 from around US$ 7 billion in 2016. It has the potential to generate up to US$ 300 billion in annual revenue by 2026, create 65 million additional jobs and contribute over 12 per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product#.
According to Mr Guillaume Sicard, president, Nissan India Operations, the income tax rate cut from 10 per cent to 5 per cent for individual tax payers earning under Rs 5 lakh (US$ 7,472) per annum will create a positive sentiment among likely first time buyers for entry level and small cars.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.015 as on February 9, 2017
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Union Budget 2015-16, Union Budget 2017-18
Notes: *- As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM)
# - As per the Automotive Mission Plan 2016-26 prepared jointly by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and government